"Keep scribbling! Something will happen." Frank McCourt

Friday, June 11, 2010

Returns


We want our readers to return to our sites again and again. (Or is that just me?) We want our blogs or websites to be inviting, informative, and worthy of a return.

Keep in mind that your readers:
  • Will be in a hurry to surf on.
  • May give your blog a minute or less of reading time. (Look at your stats.)
  • Want a payoff (funny, informative, inspiring).
  • Might be researching.
  • Could be reading on smaller screens (iPad, iPhones).
  • Want to read the fewest  possible words to get the information.

Encourage your readers to come back to your site by using these tips:
  • Keep your word count around 300. People begin losing interest in reading Internet content around 300  words.
  • Don’t ramble – get to the point.
  • Mix up paragraph lengths.
  • Vary sentence lengths.
  • Use short sentences as a paragraph which will give the reader a breather or build tension for the next point.
  • Use bullets to make content easy to read.
           o Use numbered bullets for telling ordered steps for instruction.
           o Use unnumbered bullets to list when no particular order is needed.
  • Use headings and bold them or use a different font. Headings are clues to the reader that a change is about to occur. This might give the reader reason to linger.
  • Get the reader to your blog by creating an interesting title.
          o Use keywords from your post
          o Keep it under five words- say more with less
  • Use helpful links to other sites.
  • Make your site easy to navigate by setting up a Home link.
  • Include your sources (know your copyright laws).
  • Use an image for visualization.
  • Develop a blog schedule.

Finally, leave a part of yourself in your posts. Readers are interested in the person who used words to influence their return.

Now it's your turn.  Give me your best tip for sure returns.

Don't forget, if you comment you will be entered in the drawing for the blackbird pillow (can be seen on Monday's post).

You can read Small Community on my blog  The Ruralhood  until Saturday when a new article will be posted. 




Sources: http://libstaff.mit.edu/webgroup/writing/index.html, http://www.virginia.edu/topnews/facultyopinions/tips.html
http://blog.listpipe.com/2009/post-length-how-many-words/

17 comments:

  1. Great tips!!
    Thanks for sharing, Teresa.
    Another one could be: Keep your posts short.
    Have a lovely Friday!
    B xx

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  2. Write from your heart. It hasn't failed me yet. People respond to the author behind a blog more than blog content. I think anyway. If the content reflects the soul of the writer and it is well written, who can help but return?

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  3. Great tips! I always return to your blog because it is informative, funny, and thoughtful!

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  4. I'm not sure why so many people keep returning. Guess my best tip has nothing to do with my blog - comment often on other blogs.

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  5. Thanks, Angie, but I think I'm losing my humorous side. I need to reflect on that one. I don't want to start taking life seriously. :)

    Alex, We keep coming back because you have an interesting blog.

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  6. I'd definitely rate short posts up there at the top. And to visit often, commenting back on others' blogs. It's almost like getting a conversation going with many of the bloggers, with that back-and-forth connection.

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  7. Very helpful tips. Thanks and have a great Friday.

    Mason
    Thoughts in Progress

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  8. Commenting on other's blogs will help to earn a new visitor, but what really matters is whether u can convert them to returning visitors.

    Your tips are indeed quite helpful and I found that I am not practising any of these

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  9. I think you're right and I also agree with Tabitha. I'm a very private person and lately I've been opening up with my readers about my private life. I find that I often follow the blogs because I think I know them.

    CD

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  10. Keep it short, include an image, and let your light shine. A question or journaling prompt get them thinking. Be real. We want to feel connected. Thanks for YOUR connection!

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  11. Like making friends ... build bridges instead of walls.

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  12. Great tips. I really like what Tab said, and agree with her completely.

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  13. I sure would like my pillow resting on my chair.

    Good tips.

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  14. Hi Teresa .. I agree with most of your thoughts - great guidelines.

    I fall out of the slot though! However I seem to provide something of interest for people to read & learn from .. and I get support - so I visit one blog which is my relief .. it's a good read, some nice pictures and is about food and wine, as well as vineyard development.

    I like to think that people come for a little entertainment which has some content that's informative & a break for them from their blogging/ commenting schedule.

    It seems to work. However your thoughts on clarity, shortness of sentences, paragraphs are so right .. it must be easy to read, kind to the eye etc ..

    Thanks - have a lovely weekend .. Hilary

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  15. These are all good tips. I didn't become comfortable with longer word counts until I started getting regular readers who comment on my longer posts, making it clear they know me well and have read my post carefully. I think your rules are generally best when you are acquiring new readers. Then once you have people who read you regularly because they love what you write, I think at that point you can write longer posts.

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  16. Teresa, I would say keep it relevant.
    I remember the first time I took psychology class and was assigned a book to read and report on it was so dry and boring. I just could not relate to anything in it. Then my teacher gave me "To Sir with Love". I could not put the book down and can still tell you what it was about all these years later. A reader likes to relate on some level with the writer don't you think?

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